Let the fall race season begin!


DXA2 Pic

As you can see it’s been a long time since I’ve posted a blog entry and that’s mostly due to the fact that I took a break from blogging and racing over the summer. I’ve still been training so that is good but I really miss the competitive feeling I get when I start a half marathon. In the past I’ve run a lot of smaller races but with so many half marathons planned for this year I’ve cut out anything below a half. I think it was a wise decision for my body and my wallet, but I still would like to have a few more races under my belt this year.

My fall race season will officially begin this week when my son and I head out to Anaheim for the Disneyland Half Marathon. We’ll be leaving on Thursday and spending a couple of days in the parks before the race on Sunday. I’m sure I’ll be posting some pics on Instagram so if you’re not already following me feel free to head on over to my Instagram account and add me. I’ll be sure to post a race recap when I return so check back every once in a while. In the meantime, what fall race are you looking forward to the most?

Happy training and good luck with your fall races!

My 2014 2nd Half Training Plan is Complete!


Well it’s been a while since I’ve written a running blog entry so I thought I’d post on the second half of my 2014 training plan and what I still have to look forward to this year.

Jeff has done a nice job of incorporating all of my Half Marathons into the training schedule he’s developed for me but I’m still getting used to his methodology. He has me running a lot slower than I normally would and he also has me doing long runs every other week instead of every week like I’d normally run.

The mid-week runs are interesting and I’m already seeing improvements using his techniques. The good news is that he has me doing a lot of speed work and hill repeats which have really gone a long way in helping my endurance. The bad news is that I still can’t run long distances without walk breaks because my knee starts to hurt. I have a feeling that this is something I’m always going to be dealing with so I’m coming to grips with the fact that my sub 2 hr Half Marathon is probably never going to happen. I’ve decided that instead of dwelling on that, I’m going to be thankful that I can still run and just try and complete my races without getting hurt.

Beginning this weekend I’m going to start dialing up the miles past the 13.1 point with my longest run (14 miles) since I ran the Marathon in January. I’ll be slowly building up to 17 miles where I’ll plateau for a bit before starting the official back to back runs for my Dopey training plan. The Dopey training runs officially begin October 9th and, good lord, this training plan is daunting! I knew there would be a lot of running but for some reason seeing it on paper just makes it a reality.

I still have a few more races to run this year before my Dopey training officially begins and then a couple more races during the Dopey phase itself.

Up next is the Dexter to Ann Arbor Half Marathon which will be my first point to point race.  I’m really excited to try this one and see how a P to P race works. The elevation change looks to be a little difficult but I’m not too worried because, for some reason, I tend to run better on these types of courses.

I’ve missed a few race recaps so I’m also going to write a post shortly with some photos of the other races I’ve completed this year. As always, thanks for reading and feel free to leave some comments. I always love hearing from my readers.

Marvel Unlimited: The kid in me is really happy now!


Marvel Unlimited

[Photo Source]

Please note that I have not been compensated in any way by Marvel or it’s affiliated companies. All opinions in this post are mine only and do not, in any way, represent Marvel Comics, it’s parent, or subsidiary companies.

Most anyone can tell that I’m still a big kid at heart. I’d much rather be at Walt Disney World than Las Vegas. Want to take me out golfing? No thanks, I’d rather spend my time outdoors running or inside playing video games. The books I like to read are usually Sci Fi or Fantasy and in the past I was even known to pick up a comic or two.

I promised at the beginning of the year that I’d write about some things other than running so today I want to talk about my new addiction, Marvel Unlimited. I started reading comic books back in the early 90′s but I’ve never really gotten too deep into it. The problem for me was that every time I’d start reading again I’d find a bunch of different comic series that I liked and would want to read. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but comic books aren’t cheap these days and trying to collect an entire story line was very expensive.  I’m also very ADD when it comes to reading comics. I like to skip around and read many different series which makes it even more expensive. I quit collecting every time because, after a while I couldn’t justify the cost of the comics or the space they take up in my basement.

I’m happy to say that I’ve found my love of comics once again and this time the way I consume them is perfect for me!

A few weeks ago I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts when the host mentioned an iPad app and comic service called Marvel Unlimited. The more he talked about the service the more intrigued I became. My curiosity lead me to give the service a one month trial and now I’m hooked.

What is Marvel Unlimited?

It’s a subscription service where you pay a monthly or yearly fee to get access to over 13,000 Marvel comic books on your computer, tablet, or smart phone.


There are three different subscription options for the service. You can go month by month for $9.99 per month, pay a yearly fee of $69 or get the premium subscription for $99 which gives you a limited edition 6″ Gold-colored Ultron figure, an exclusive variant edition Age of Ultron #10 comic, and a custom collectible comic box.



As you can imagine, comic book store owners were not happy with this service as they were afraid that it would eat into their brick and mortar business. To help ease these fears, Marvel has promised not to add comics newer than six months to the service. This might be a drawback for some people but since I have so much catching up to do, it doesn’t really bother me at all. I have more than enough to keep me busy.


Why do I like this service so much?

1. It allows me to catch up on older Marvel story lines that I wouldn’t otherwise get to read. I’ve been reading the original X-men story line starting with the first comic in issued back in September 1963.

2. All of the comics are in digital form so they don’t take up space in my basement.

3. I can let my ADD go wild because it costs the same amount no matter how many different series I’m reading at one time.

4. Some of the newer comics are incredibly detailed and look great on my iPad. Some of them also have background music and sound effects that can be downloaded and sync up top the current page you’re reading.

I’ve had so much fun reading this past month that I gave in and bought the full year subscription. Based on the fact that I could easily spend $30 on one single trip to the comic book store I know I’ll get my money’s worth with this subscription.

Do you read comics? let me know which ones you like in the comic section below.

Just call me Dopey!


I love running! I love racing! I love Walt Disney World! These three things combine in a big way during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and I’m glad to say that I’ll be back again in 2015 to experience it.

As you might know from previous blog posts I finished my first Marathon earlier this year during WDW Marathon Weekend 2014. I loved the experience so much that for 2015 I have decided to sign up for the Dopey challenge. For those who are not familiar with the Dopey Challenge, you run the 5 K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, Half Marathon on Saturday and the Full Marathon on Sunday. That’s 48.6 miles in four days!

I would be lying If I said this doesn’t freak me out a bit but on the other hand I’m really looking forward to the challenge. It was just two years ago that I couldn’t even run to the end of my street and now I’m preparing to tackle a 48.6 mile endurance weekend. It’s amazing how running has changed my life!

Will you be running any of the Disney World Marathon Weekend races? Let me know which ones in the comment below.


Rock ‘n Roll USA Half Marathon Race Recap

One of the many great things about running is that it gives me an excuse to travel more. Every time I look into a place I’d like to visit, I check to see if there is a local race. This St. Patrick’s Day weekend was one of those running trips as I was able to travel to Washington DC to run the Rock’ N Roll USA Half Marathon. I’m lucky to have family living in the area and, to help defray some of the travel costs, my cousin and his wife were kind enough to let me stay with them for the weekend.
My weekend started on Friday morning when I left the house a 5:30 AM and began the 8.5 hour trip to Washington DC. This was the first time making that drive solo and it really was a nice drive. I loaded up the phone with podcasts and hit the turn pike.
A couple of days before, I found out that two of my other running friends would be at the race expo as well so we had planned to meet up at 3PM.

At around 2:30 I pulled into the RFK stadium parking lot and headed over to the National Guard Armory where I eventually met up with my friends Liz and Joy.



The Expo was a little smaller than most Disney race expo’s but much larger than some of the local Half Marathon’s I’ve run. Liz and I picked up our bibs and the three of us did a little shopping. It was nice to see runDisney at the expo and even nicer that they were handing our cool bags for us to use.
After the expo we headed into Foggy Bottom and had dinner near the GWU campus. Mediterranean food is wonderful the night before the race and my first day in DC was awesome.

Race Day


Saturday morning started at 5AM when the alarm went off. The race wasn’t scheduled to start until 7:30 but I wanted to get downtown early to avoid the traffic. I had originally planned on taking the Metro into the city but my cousins were gracious enough to drive me instead so I wouldn’t have to wait at the station by my lonesome self.
The starting line of the race was at 14th and Constitution right next to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. It was really cool to have the corrals lined up next to the museum but the corral system they had was a bit different than what I was used to. They numbered the corrals from 1 all the way to 31. The first corral went off at 7:30 with each subsequent corral starting about a minute after the previous one had gone off.


Once we got rolling the course headed down Constitution Avenue, past the White House and the Washington Monument.


In this photo you can see the White house in the background on the right if you look really close. I was late in getting my camera out of the running belt so I missed the good shot.


The Washington monument was great as usual but they were still finishing some rehab work that was necessary due to an earthquake back in 2012.

Once we hit 18th street it was time for a slight detour down Virginia Avenue and then back on to Constitution where we ran past the Lincoln Memorial.


This part of the race was awesome because I was feeling great and there was a ton of scenery to look at. Running past the Lincoln Memorial was incredible and the bands they had playing were really good.

We next did an out and back over the Arlington Memorial bridge which gave me another great view of the city. It also gave me a chance to see Liz when she was coming back from the turnaround as well as many of my fellow Half Fanatic group members.


My favorite moment during the race came when we exited the bridge. There was a band playing by the Lincoln Memorial and the lead guitarist was jamming the guitar solo to “All Along the Watch Tower”. It was so cool hearing that song while running past the Lincoln Memorial.


After this part of the course we headed past the Kennedy Center where the Kennedy Center Honors are held.

Speaking of the Kennedy Center, one of my all-time favorite performances happened there when Heart played Stairway to Heaven back in 2012. Led Zeppelin was being honored that night and the song Heart played gives me goose bumps every time I watch it. Here is a good version of it on YouTube so you can check it out for yourself.

From here we ran up Waterside drive past many of the foreign embassy buildings. This is where we had to run up the most difficult hill on the course. It was a long uphill curve and by the time I got to the top the people around me were exhausted. I was a bit winded but at this point I was actually doing ok.


Just after mile nine we headed down North Capitol Street for almost two miles. This was really cool because the entire time we were on this road we could see the Capitol Building in front of us.


Around mile 12 my calves were really starting to tighten up. I had to abandon my intervals and only run when I could get my legs top stop cramping. This tells me two things:

1. I ran too fast towards the beginning of the race.
2. I need to practice running longer at a faster race pace to get my muscles used to the speed at longer distances.

I eventually made it to the finish line where Joy greeted me with my post-race food! She was a volunteer for the race and it was awesome to see her smiling face at the end.


Final Thoughts

The expo was large enough to spend a couple hours in but not too crowded. The volunteers were amazing and there were plenty of them out on the course. The Spectators really came out in droves to cheer on the runners. We ran through some areas of the city where college students lived and many of them were standing on the side of the street offering free beer to the runners. Some of them had guitars and were playing as we ran by, and others were just really supportive offering us encouragement when the run was getting tough. There were plenty of water stops and the bands playing on the course were a nice diversion from the pain 

There were a couple minor areas for improvement:
1. The race course itself is mostly run on the outskirts of the city. I would have liked to run a little more downtown past some different monuments and tourist attractions.
2. For some reason they were using plastic cups at the waters stations and by the end of the race there were plastic shattered cups all over the road way. This must have been a pain to try and sweep up and it was a bit slippery at times for the runners.
Aside from those minor issues I had a great time at this race and would definitely run it again.